External Shocks and Westminster Executive Governance: New Brunswick’s All-Party Cabinet Committee on COVID-19

Article 8 / 14 , Vol 43 No 3 (Autumn)

External Shocks and Westminster Executive Governance: New Brunswick’s All-Party Cabinet Committee on COVID-19

This research note compares the responses of Canadian provincial cabinet governments to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic health crisis with a focus on New Brunswick’s unique and somewhat exceptional formation of an all party cabinet committee on COVID-19 in March 2020. The article reviews the responses of provincial cabinets to the pandemic with special attention to their relationship to opposition parties and leaders. While the Savoie thesis has dominated Canadian understanding of cabinet governance, we suggest that centralization of power is only one likely feature and not the dominant feature of cabinet government. With our findings of the current cases, we argue that the defining characteristic of cabinet government in Westminster systems is its “flexibility of method”1
and “capacity for change”.2

Continue reading “External Shocks and Westminster Executive Governance: New Brunswick’s All-Party Cabinet Committee on COVID-19”